If you look closely you will see a secret

A secret that you may not even realize you have seen.

Trompe l’oeil is a French phrase meaning to trick the eye. Artists have used this technique for centuries to create the illusion of space or depth.

Many towns in Italy are famous for this technique which can make a totally flat wall seem three dimensional.

Some of the earliest examples can be seen on the walls at Pompeii giving views into non existent rooms.

It’s all in the detail!

Attention to every detail is so convincing that I have often stopped to work out if what I am looking at is real.

These gorgeous works of art create windows, shutters, curtains, and all of the fancy trimmings. Nothing is missed right down to the shadows.

This often subtle trickery has me shake my head and smile, our daughter has a wonderful time spotting ladies waving from windows and cats sitting on windowsills. She usually spots these frozen moments long before I do (and I was look for them).

It is “The Trick” in trompe l’oeil that reminds me a little of a magician, we all know there is a trick and we willingly take part in the deception.

The delight comes when the trick is spotted. When you realise that not only in the cat not real but neither are the windows or the shutters.

The Trick of Trompe L’oeil

What I love most about these paintings is their playful nature, as if the artist might come up behind me and say “Gotcha”

This can be seen in an often told story about a contest between two famous painters.

Zeuxis produced a still life painting so convincing that birds flew down to peck at the painted grapes.

He was then asked by his rival, Parrhasius, to pull back a pair of very tattered curtains to see the painting behind them. Imagine Zeuxis’s face when he realised that the painting was the curtains themselves.

The Trick is what creates a trompe l’oeil ….

Be sure to look closely and you will find trompe l’oeil all over Italy often when you least expect it… have you been fooled?